Methods/design: EMPIRIKAL is a multicentre double-blind randomised case-control trial designed to test the superiority of Mirococept in the prevention of DGF in cadaveric renal allografts, as compared to standard cold perfusion fluid (Soltran®). Patients will be randomised to Mirococept or placebo (Pbo) and will be enrolled in cohorts of N = 80 with a maximum number of 7 cohorts. The first cohort will be randomised to 10 mg of Mirococept or Pbo. After the completion of each cohort, an interim analysis will be carried out in order to evaluate the dose allocation for the next cohort (possible doses: 5–25 mg). Immunosuppression therapy, antibiotic and antiviral prophylaxis will be administered as per local centre protocols. The enrolment will take approximately 24 months, and patients will be followed for 12 months. The primary endpoint is DGF, defined as the requirement for dialysis during the first week after transplantation. Secondary endpoints include duration of DGF, functional DGF, renal function at 12 months, acute rejection episodes at 6 and 12 months, primary non-function and time of hospital stay on first admission and in the first year following transplant. Safety evaluation will include the monitoring of laboratory data and the recording of all adverse events.
Discussion: The EMPIRIKAL trial is the first study to evaluate the efficacy of an ex vivo administered complement inhibitor (Mirococept) in preventing DGF in cadaveric human renal transplantation. Mirococept has a unique ‘cytotopic’ property that permits its retention in the organ microvasculature.